Monday, February 13, 2017

Prostate Health

Every once in a while when I'm looking through some of my entries on my Food Medicine Pinterest page I come across an interesting bit of information about health and the relationship to herb, or health food and men's prostate health the topic of this note. I make no medical claim here only a suggestion with the herbal cocktail you'll find at the end of this article. All of the listed ingredients are good for your health in general, but in this instance, I hope to apply the suggestion of herbal healing energy to the male prostate. Onions, garlic, and tomatoes should all be part of this year's crop for me. The Onions and garlic having a head start since I started growing them last year; tomatoes will be added this season.

For men, looking for a way to reduce the negative effect of free radicals on prostate cells it's believed that the antioxidants in veggies can accomplish that goal. Over a period of fourteen years, a study of some thirty-two thousand men seems to support the veggie antioxidant connection. The study showed an eleven-percent lower risk of BPH (or in medical terms Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) or the term I finally understood; an enlarged prostate. The study compared the men who did eat their veggies to men who did not eat their vegetables regularly. The amount of vegetable that was used in the research added up to about one and a half serving daily or, about three cups of veggies per day.

I come from a family of T-Rexes, or true meat eating carnivores who for the most part have always believed that there was room on this earth for all of God’s wonderful creatures---right next to the potatoes. So it has taken me a while to incorporate more veggies into my daily diet. When I was younger I honestly felt the man did not fight his way to the top of the food chain to eat plants! But if you live long enough and pay attention to the effect a bad diet and poor health on friends and family, sometimes even on yourself you eventually make the connection (at least that is the way it was for me). These days I have some wisdom from years of dietary ups and downs, and witnessing the effects a healthy diet has to offer especially when it comes to energy, stamina, and health in general.

When it comes to the male prostate I should mention that Omega-three oil is believed to actually cut the prostate cancer rate. The theory made it to the testing stage when mice, genetically engineered to develop prostate cancer, were given the Omega-3 as a treatment. The Omega 3 in the fish oil actually slowed the progression of the disease to a crawl. The study focused on males with a family history of prostate cancer but the results were truly eye opening. The Omaga-3 fatty acid in fish oil capsules appears to have the beneficial effect of slowing progression of prostate cancer significantly. I would prefer to get my Omega-3 from eating the fish, whenever I can, but just in case fish is not on the menu for tonight fish oil capsules are the next best thing.

A piece of fresh fish (also chicken or turkey) on a plate loaded with vegetables just might be a life extender, maybe even a life saver for some.  Government information source  Here is the recipe mentioned in the beginning, for a pretty neat Smoothie to help with men's prostate health.

3 tomatoes
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps oatmeal
A dash of Himalayan salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Success with Peppers

The success I had with peppers I hope to repeat this planting season, I started my seeds off in small nursery planter boxes, keeping them inside, only allowing them out occasionally for direct sunlight.

When they were large enough I graduated them to plastic cups giving their roots a chance to begin taking in nourishment, I fed them with Liquid Fish Fertilizer.

From the plastic cup, my peppers and onions were moved to their growing pots to complete their growth

The entire process took about six weeks from planting seeds to fairly full grown plants and I waited for another four to five weeks before I had any sizable pepper. At this point, I'm still not quite sure what I did right, or wrong, as in the case of my cantaloupe plant. 

The cantaloupe plant is the one line of leaves in the middle/green planter. Not long after this picture was taken I began using plant bug killer on my peppers, the cantaloupe plant soon after began to wither and die, no autopsy performed. The peppers were fine with all the spraying. The cantaloupe plant was also sharing the planter with a pepper plant, which I don't believe was the problem, but if I  plant another cantaloupe plant this year it will be in a planter all by itself, and way away from my bug spraying.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What's in the food we eat?

I read some scary news this past week that left me feeling even more determined to learn how to grow my own food. At least some of it anyway. What boosted my determination this past week was hearing about fake rice. So naturally, I did a search online to see if there was more information to back up what I had read and there it was. The information I found came from Viet Nam so I'm not sure if any fake rice has ever made it to America, still food wise, I had never even consider the possibility of counterfeit rice. The scary part was that the fake rice was made of plastic and equal to no nutritional value.

Now I can honestly say I wasn't planning on growing rice but damn! Maybe I should. Anyway, after digesting what I was able to learn about the fake version of this food I also read that there was a way to identify the fake rice from the real rice; that made me feel a little better. Real rice has a tendency to settle to the bottom when placed in water, the fake rice floats and doesn't sink. Fake rice also smells and burns like plastic, but I do not recommend the burning method to testing. From what I could see the fake rice was always mixed with the real rice so that people got the same package of rice with only half the actual rice, I guess.

I really want to think that this kind of thing only happens in other countries and I have yet to read or see anything that suggests that fake food item can be found here in this country where I learned a few years ago some people in Europe were told they had been eating horse meat, sold as regular beef. With regard to the fake rice  I did do my best to see if I could identify the label on the package in the video I saw to see if I ever run into any plastic rice on my grocery shelf, something that would be highly unlikely, just the ideas, however, will keep me checking the rice I buy from now on.

I mention all this as a point of interest and not as an alarm. I'll save the alarm until I find out for sure plastic rice is being sold in the United States. I can't see imported food being subject to the same scrutiny as the food grown here so I imagine if there ever is any problem with food, that food will have come from another country. Meantime not in addition to sharing advice about growing veggies and fruits don't be surprised if I also end up sharing rice planting information. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kicking the Sugar Habit

The, I quit sugar, twelve step program reduced to just three steps for convenience. You have probably already heard that sugar is harder to quit than the recreational drug cocaine; I've heard that so many times I can only assume it's true, until now. Now I'm planning to take on my own sugar addiction. I am not mad at my parents for getting me hooked on sugar when I was younger I could be persistent, persuasive, even a little dramatic when I didn't get what I wanted. I'm sure that in the beginning, my parents thought the could control my intake of sugar too.

Sugar is a habit I have tried to break several times in my adult life so this won't be the first time I have "quit for good." I have never been a drug user except for the over the counter types used to treat most human ailments, nor have I known anyone going through the methadone treatment for heroin, at least I don’t think I have, so when I hear that sugar is a harder habit to break than cocaine I would have to believe so.

So the twelve-step part of my plan may also be more related to alcohol addiction, but my interest in quitting sugar, again, is genuine and driven by some data I read back in December 2015. There is hardly a day that goes by when the American humans don't take in enough sugar, in one day, to eventually equal more than 140 plus pounds of sugar per year, according to an article skimmed during my travels. However, in my case, this sounds totally true and since my ears have become more in tune with the negative effects of processed sugar news they immediately locked on to a report on my local news, the pulled me out of my home office listen and realize that a lot of my annual allotment of sugar was coming from my favorite coffee drink I order on a regular basis from a national coffee making establishment I frequent. Turns out my coffee drink actually contains more sugar than a similar serving of coke (a Cola, not the other kind).

Add this to all the other places sugar hides out in my daily diet and I can see why the sugar habit is so hard to break, by-the-way I'm talking mostly granulated processed white sugar. So here’s my plan, rather than bore you with all the negative things that sugar can do to your body if you let it. Or scare you by clouding my theories with facts, like sugar is actually good for your brain, let me share with you the three steps I plan to take to banish processed sugar from my diet for life, or this Easter, whichever comes first.

Okay, I know I joke around a lot but this time I plan to make some personal head weigh when it comes to eradicating processed granulated sugar from my daily diet. Since I have notice that my sugar use runs in a cycle throughout my day, week, month, and year that I am sure does add up to the almost 140 plus pounds of sugar per year I likely average, so!

Step I
Find a way to break the cycle. I realize that to do this I need to come up with a suitable substitute, eating more fruits and veggies should fill that bill but it’s going to take maybe just a little more because sweetening my coffee with fruits and veggies will not work!  I'll start by breaking my processed sugar intake cycle; maybe see if I can work in the new organic Agave sweetener I got for Christmas and wondered what the heck for!

Step II
Cut in half every sugary thing I eat a day, and make myself not increase my sugar intake each day just so I end up averaging out the same old sugar intake. Okay, this may not make sense here (talking mainly to myself here) but I actually think I can do this. If it’s not a fruit or a veggie, or perhaps my Agave sweetener, cut it in half! Where coffee is concerned it becomes Tall rather than a Grande!

Step III
In a week or so see if I can limit myself to one bite so something sweet a day (containing the drug sugar) I got to pace myself don’t want my serotonin level to tank. Must maintain serotonin level! Must! So if I make it this far I think I can do this. I don’t plan to make the mistake I made when it came to cutting down on salt, stopping completely cold turkey and feeling awful until someone said: “hey, you need salt you know, but in moderation”. I learned my lesson then from the almost unintended suicide by lack of salt incident, never to overdo it when it comes to a new health challenge.

So that will be my goal sugar in moderation and hopefully, my three step program will get me there, stay tuned! Full disclosure, I would start tonight but I just bought a pie today; hate to have to throw out, so next week for sure.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pepper update from back in 2016

My peppers blossomed, and bloomed and offered me a small harvest of Bell Pepper. I plan to plant even more this year. Since I am new to the planting business it has taken me a while to develop a planting method that works for the entire variety of vegetables I plan to grow. This year I may even add grapes to the mix. The Orchards store where I got last years seeds closed this past Christmas season so I will need to make a short road trip to my local Home Depot for this year's seeds and planting extras. Where fruit is concerned I also tried my hand at canning for the first time this past season and was quite pleased with the way my plum jelly turned out. I didn't plant the plum tree, it was here when I moved in. Until this past season, I had also, for the most part, ignored the plums giving most of them away. I'm glad I gave canning my plums a try this past planting season and had I not given away about five or six jars of my work my first canning experience would have lasted me one whole year.